Finance Industry Setting Trends in Document Imaging

Recent AIIM research indicates that many in the financial, banking, and insurance industries (FBII) operate highly-sophisticated in-house scanning and capture operations. This would appear to make sense, given the fact that these industries were among the first to embrace sophisticated information technologies, dating back to the early 1960s and beyond.
The overall demand for going paperless in this sector, however, is unambiguous, as was sharply articulated in a 2008 interview with John Chickering of Fidelity Investments, one of the largest financial houses: “(Our) storage volumes are growing by leaps and bounds. The research data I’ve seen quote 30 percent annually. That means we’re doubling faster than every three years.

“The more volume we have to manage, the harder it is for us to find what’s important, and so I think we as an industry need to address the volume issue.” A best practice, adds Chickening, “is to embed in the capture of documents (and their use in running a process), the things you need to manage the documents throughout their lifecycles.”
Traditionally, scanning and capture has been considered technically challenging. Achieving high throughput at minimum cost has required specialized machinery and skilled staff, hence the prevalence of service bureaus and outsourcers.

As a result there has been reluctance in various sectors to invest in onsite capture technology, relying instead on low offshore labor rates and cheaper communications, enabling a combination of onshore scanning, with offshore remote keying into corporate legacy systems. But that is changing, as revealed in the AIIM data below.

  • 67 percent of respondents do not outsource any scanning or capture services.
  • 72 percent of all respondents have a centralized scanning and capture facility.
  • 72 percent also use distributed capture within their organizations (multifunction peripherals, desk-top scanners, branch-office and field-office scanning).
  • The strongest drivers for scanning and capture are “Improve process throughput (efficiency)” 64 percent; “Records security and accessibility (compliance)” 56 percent; “Improve speed of access (customer service)” 52 percent; and, finally, “Improve searchability/findability of business documents (knowledge management)” 46 percent.
  • The three largest “barriers to greater strategic adoption of scanning and capture” were “Justifying the investment – demonstrating ROI,” 44 percent; “Resistance to change,” 40 percent; and “Still thought of as scan-to-archive, not scan-to-process” 40 percent.
  • 51 percent of respondents reported return on investment (ROI) on scanning and capture investments within 12 months or less, with an additional 18 percent reporting ROI within 18 months.
  • 66 percent index and store scanned images and electronically generated files in the same system.
  • 80 percent of respondents do not store “significant numbers of scanned images” in SharePoint.

How do you feel your organization measures up when it comes to inefficiencies gained through document management? Ask Portford today to discuss best practices in your industry and identify how your business process can be improved.

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